/ Sunday Arts Magazine / Art Exhibition / Ash Keating Presents Duality


13 February 2021 – 16 May 2021

IMAGE > Ash Keating with works Aerial #1 – #4 in his studio, 2020, pigment, urethane acrylic, perlite and mica flakes on canvas. Photograph by Dan Preston.

Following a year of creative experimentation and marking a major transition in technique, leading mid-career Melbourne based artist Ash Keating’s new series expands the physical and psychological complexity of his work.

The exhibition includes four very large canvases and a series of eight smaller domestically scaled paintings. These stunning new works have been formed by the application and manipulation of countless layers of media, including pigments, perlite, mica flakes, paint and water. The process of building and paring back has involved an eclectic set of equipment such as seed sprayers, leaf blowers, wire brush, electric sanders, vacuums, and Stanley knives.

Forged over the period of one month at the end of 2020, towards the end of the lengthy COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne, the works have been designed to be viewed in real life rather than virtually via a screen. Their surfaces hold an intense depth and richness and their appearance changes depending on the light and angle from which they are viewed. The series has a meditative quality that invites slow and reflective viewing. Created as an antidote to isolation and anxiety, the works encourage reconnection, reflection and solace.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a public art project commissioned by the City of Port Phillip.

“My very first studio paintings, going back 18-22 years, were textured abstract aerial landscapes, inspired by my light aircraft flights in north east Victoria with my Grandma Elva Rush. I learnt to fly with my Gran when I lived with her in Mansfield in the school holidays when I was 15-18 years old, and it was these flights that inspired me to take photographs of the landscape and create several works on canvas in response.

“I am positioning a body of work as a means to reflect change, like the seasons, like the way we as a society have endured significant change over the course of this past year and equally as individuals. I hope these works will be able to provide a space for the viewer to connect with themselves, physically and metaphysically,” says Ash.


Ash Keating works within an expanded contemporary field, through painting, performance, sculpture, video and intervention. Keating’s large outdoor murals, created with paint filled fire extinguishers, can be found across Melbourne.

Keating has exhibited extensively in galleries and created numerous large-scale, site-responsive art projects in Australia and internationally since 2004. He has undertaken numerous large-scale painting commissions in public spaces, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2013), the Adelaide Festival Centre (2015) and Sydney’s Domain (2018). His works are held in many public and private collections including the NGV, NGA, MCA, AGNSW, MUMA and Artbank.


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